Saturday, February 25, 2017
I was looking the other day for a word to describe what I was feeling. This is the word that came floating across the myriad fields of my imagination.
adjective mel·an·choly \ˈme-lən-ˌkä-lē\
Definition of melancholy
1. 1a : suggestive or expressive of sadness or depression of mind or spirit <sang in a melancholy voice>b : causing or tending to cause sadness or depression of mind or spirit : dismal <a melancholy thought>
It is a word not often used anymore. Hard to believe just a few short years ago, it was a diagnosis made by doctors. It was also the reason for someone to be sent to a mental asylum. How it must have felt to be shipped off, just for feeling sad, for what was possibly the rest of your life?
Can you imagine waking up one morning feeling off, and as the weeks pass this feeling, this melancholy; becomes your norm. A feeling of pensive sadness. I've always thought of it as an abiding sadness. One that is always with you. A feeling of mourning; but you're not aware of losing anything. I think the word fits with what you feel.
In my search for the meaning of melancholy; I think this excerpt from Vocabulary.com says it the best.
Melancholy is beyond sad: as a noun or an adjective, it's a word for the gloomiest of spirits.
Being melancholy means that you're overcome in sorrow, wrapped up in sorrowful thoughts. The word started off as a noun for deep sadness, from a rather disgusting source. Back in medieval times, people thought that secretions of the body called "humors" determined their feelings, so a depressed person was thought to have too much of the humor known as melancholy — literally "black bile" secreted from the spleen. Fortunately, we no longer think we're ruled by our spleens, and that black bile has been replaced by another color of sorrow: the "blues."
So, think of the many people, mostly women, who were sent to live in places like Bedlam just for feeling sad. I, for one am happy that science has moved forward enough to understand some of what causes Depression, and as such melancholy. I suffer from Bipolar Disorder. What is hard to make understood to friends, and medical professionals, is that to my mind there is a difference in the two. My depressions leave me feeling like I am trapped in the darkest pit of Hell. I feel like nothing I do is, or can ever be done right. I am an absolute failure. The wish to just go to sleep, and never wake up is a very real battle.
My melancholy is like stated above, a pensive sadness. An abiding sadness, where you sit, and for no reason tears fall from your eyes. Soon you are sobbing silently so as you won't disturb anyone. For most people a good cry, helps clear away some of the fog from the mind. When I am in this mood, the crying is just a physical release of the mourning I cannot express verbally.
I move through the day in this sort of fugue state, my mind wrapped in cotton tainted with the color of sadness. And yes, I do feel emotions have colors. The color of sadness is indeed blue. Where the color of Depression is black, and when my mind flips its switch. When the manic phase begins, I color that a burnt orange color. For my Anxiety/Panic disorder when that ugly conditions plays prey upon my mind, and body. I am in a full brilliant red zone. Everywhere I turn I see shades of blood.
Luckily for me, these melancholy days’ pass, just as the other days do. I come out on the other side with a renewed view of my life. I once again find joy in small things. I feel like my world is once again rotating on its axis correctly. I know many who can identify with some of what I have written. I know that there are others who cannot differentiate between the feeling of melancholy, and that of depression. For those, I hope beyond measure that they have sought help in dealing with these feelings, or if you haven’t will please consider doing so. I have listed some sites that offer help to those who feel overwhelmed, and can’t do it alone anymore. Please, don’t do it alone. There are others out there, who like me know your struggle. I hope that this empowers those reading, and doesn’t send them into a “melancholy” mood. Until we meet again. Remember to live and laugh.
National Institute of Mental Health- https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml
Anxiety and Depression Association of America- https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression
National Alliance on Mental Illness- http://www.nami.org/
Or you can call- Crisis Line 1-800-273-TALK(8255)